Lawmaker calls for change in child sex abuse cases, says Utah ‘one of the best at protecting predators’

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A Utah lawmaker criticized the state on Wednesday for not doing more to protect child victims of sexual abuse. Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, brought a bill before a House committee that he believes will remedy the problem by removing the statute of limitations in civil cases filed by victims.

"It's kind of tragic that Utah is one of the worst states in the nation in protecting child victims of sexual abuse," Ivory said. "And it's one of the best at protecting predators."

While the statute of limitations on criminal child sexual abuse cases was eliminated in 2008, the civil requirements have made it difficult for some victims to seek justice. Under current law, the statute of limitations runs out four years after the victim turns 18, or at the time of "discovery" of the act.

"The average time for a child victim of sexual abuse is 20 years to report," Ivory said.

The statistic was reinforced by testimony given to lawmakers.

"Sexual assault of a child is murdering that childhood, or murdering that innocence," said DeAnn Tilton, who spoke in favor of the bill Wednesday.

From approximately age 6 to age 10, Tilton was sexually abused. However, It was not until she was about 18 years old that she began to process it.

"I was terrified of my abuser," she said. "They used force and punishment to silence me and keep me silent."

By the time she was ready to face them, it was too late.

"We need to ask ourselves as a society, what would be fair?" Tilton said.

Included in the bill Wednesday was an amendment that focused on how employers could be held accountable in a civil suit if an employee committed the abuse.

Because the language was added late, lawmakers held the proposal to have more time to review it.

2 comments

  • John Duffin

    Religion is sexual repression. Nobody needs religion. You will be better off without it.
    ‘God Is NOT Great: How Religion Poisons Everything’ by Christopher Hitchens.
    I read it and it changed my life for the better X’s a million.
    You will thank me.
    abusetracker

  • Trish

    The patriarchal state of affairs in Utah, the default theocracy, the fact that most of the lawmaker’s come from families in which women have no rights not granted by their husband’s and where it is not abnormal to marry and have children when one is little more than a child themselves all contribute detrimentally to the safety of children in the State.

    We are talking about a state that turns a blind eye to KNOWN FLDS strongholds, allows judges and LE to force children and women to remain in situations where they are married off as adolescents to middle-aged family members because the judges and LE in these towns are members and leaders in the very FLDS organization that rapes children – and where many of these FLDS judges and LE have family in positions of power in both the State legislature and mainstream LDS church.

    A man cannot serve two masters – if someone is so committed to a religion that allows and makes excuses for abuse, they are not going to properly impose secular laws that do the opposite and/or are contradictory to the tenets of their strongly held religious beliefs. People with leadership roles in the church should be prohibited from holding secular roles that do not conform to their religious teachings – because it is the public that plays the price when their judges/cops think that this kind of abuse is a family matter that should be kept behind closed doors and not handled by the courts.

    How can you publicly condemn someone for something as a member of the legislature when you have turned a blind eye to the same thing going on in your religious organization/family?

    People with a lot of skeletons/secrets make the WORST equitable defenders of the law – they are too afraid of stepping on toes/getting called out for their own crimes to actively prosecute others doing the same evil.

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